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Accountability court adjourns hearing against Sharif

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan's accountability adjourned till afternoon the hearing on three corruption references against ousted Prime Minister after his lawyer informed that the high was to give its verdict on a plea of clubbing of graft cases today.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had in September registered cases against Sharif, his family in the Accountability Court, following a Supreme verdict.

Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam and son-in- Muhammad Safdar, appeared before the accountability court here today, amid tight security.

His lawyer Khawaja Harris requested Judge Mohammad Bashir to suspend proceedings and wait for the High Court's (IHC) decision on a by Sharif to club his three graft cases into one, as all were related to his alleged making of assets beyond the known sources of means.

The IHC had completed the hearing and reserved its judgement on November 23. Yesterday, the court announced that it will give its verdict around midday today.

The accountability court after hearing the argument from the NAB prosecutor postponed hearing till 1 pm (local time) and allowed Sharif to go home but ordered him to remain present when the hearing begins again.

The court had on November 8 rejected a plea by Sharif to club his cases following which he challenged the decision in the High Court.

The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment, Flagship Investment Ltd and the Avenfield (London) properties.

Sharif and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and her husband Safdar named only in the Avenfield reference.

Maryam on November 23 requested exemption from personal appearance between December 5, 2017 and January 5, 2018, while Sharif sought exemption between December 5 and 12.

The court is expected to give its decision on the two pleas today.

Last month, Sharif was indicted in all three cases while his daughter Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar, co- accused with Sharif in only one case, were also indicted along with Sharif.

Sharif's sons Hassan and Hussian have failed to appear in the court despite repeated summons, which prompted it to separate their case.

Ahead of the verdict, hundreds of security personnel have been deployed around the court premises to deal with any situation.

The cases are based on July 28 verdict by the Supreme Court which disqualified Sharif and ordered to launch three corruption cases against him and his family, and one case against finance minister Ishaq Dar.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 04 2017. 11:15 IST